Simone represents and advises employers and senior executives across a range of industries including professional services, manufacturing, transport and health.

Prior to joining Rigby Cooke, Simone was the National Workplace Relations Manager of Australia’s largest employer association and a director of its specialist employment law practice. She has also worked in international law firms and the Workplace Relations/Industrial Relations teams of organisations such as Amcor and Telstra.

Simone is described by many of her clients as a trusted business partner. This is a result of her combined legal/industry background and personal emphasis on working closely with each individual client to provide technically sound, practical and commercial solutions to their immediate and long-term employment challenges.

Significant experience

  • Bargaining representative and lead negotiator for a large engineering and technology company involving multiple unions and employee bargaining representatives, FWC hearings and successfully opposing a protected action ballot application.
  • Successfully represented a transport business in a FWC hearing and appeal in a dispute about an enterprise agreement entitlement.
  • Obtained orders under transfer of business provisions to prevent an agreement from applying to a company who wished to engage employees of a related entity on its existing common law contract conditions.
  • Successfully defended a general protections claim in the Federal Court alleging that a former employee/union delegate had been dismissed due to his union membership and industrial activity.
  • Successfully defended an unfair dismissal claim at arbitration made by an employee dismissed for serious misconduct.
  • Conducted a leave accrual/payroll audit based on agreement/award/NES obligations which identified significant underpayments and recommended strategies for rectifying breaches and avoiding prosecution.
  • Advised on all ER/IR aspects of the acquisition of a national pharmaceutical business including undertaking due diligence, drafting sale of business contract provisions and letters of offer and advising on workforce consolidation.
  • Investigated a bullying and harassment complaint against a senior executive/Company Secretary and provided legal advice and recommendations arising from the investigation findings.
  • Successfully defended a disability discrimination complaint in VCAT against a telecommunications company.
  • Advised on strategy to minimise legal and industrial risks in relation to the closure of a large manufacturing site including preparation of strategic and communications plans and drafting employee/union/media communications. The wind down of operations and closure occurred as scheduled and without any industrial disruption, adverse media/union attention or payments in excess of legal entitlements.
  • Australian industry representative at former Federal Government’s Labour, Trade and Investment Delegation to Myanmar (Burma).


Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations

Master of Laws
University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
Monash University

Bachelor of Arts
Monash University


Law Institute of Victoria (LIV)

LIV Workplace Relations Law Advisory Committee

Industrial Relations Society of Victoria

Simone works with